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Light wind foil kite flying/riding techniques

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Light wind foil kite flying/riding techniques

Postby dave1986 » Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:23 am

I've been hydrofoiling on my 12m FS Speed3 at a light wind spot (around 10 mph) which gets quite gusty due to the wind coming over a headland/ small cliff upwind of the beach. I've been having issues with my kite overflying in the gusts then lines going slack resulting in a twisted/bowtie kite on the water.

This happened both whilst stationary and whilst riding along, and also happened to others on newer Ozone Hyperlink and FS Soul kites so I'm pretty sure that the gusty wind was the main cause, but it also made me wonder whether I can use any special techniques to prevent the kite overflying in gusts?

Also a separate issue I found was that the lines occasionally went slack whilst doing a downloop carve turn... I'm guessing carving more sharply or learning to tack upwind are the best ways to prevent slack lines during turns?

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Re: Light wind foil kite flying/riding techniques

Postby Regis-de-giens » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:13 am

if you constantly work the kite you will decrease the frontstall instabilities a lot ; then you can also play with the speedmixer, by shorten B and C to reduce the camber of the profile. You will gain stability but loose low end grunt and maybe agility in turns (theoretically , since I do not recall this on the Speed3 particularly, but speed 3 it is a old souvenir ...)

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Re: Light wind foil kite flying/riding techniques

Postby Herman » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:45 pm

Only just started foiling but I do recognise these issues from light wind landboarding and so, maybe, my comments may have some relevance!

Obviously if you sheet out in a gust the kite will surge to the edge of the window and so you have to sheet in to stop overflying but then moderate the resulting line tension by bearing away or jumping if you are upto it. If you do get the kite stuck at the edge of the window pull the top leader (sharp tug using bottom hand rather than steer with the bar) and, sheet out, once the kite has fallen back and turned, to allow it to climb.

Turning sharper obviously reduces slack in the turn. Another option on a landboard is to kill your speed before you enter the turn so the kite has to pull you through the turn, not sure whether you have the necessary speed control on a hydrofoil. On a landboard I usually kill speed by scrubbing the back wheels but heading up is also an option. If the loop initiation feels slow I grab a handful of front leader with the backhand to hasten the kite into the dive part of the loop. I usually sheet out to speed up the climb section of the loop. My experience is with medium aspect snow kites.

Of course if the gust is also a major heading shift you just have to live with the results of mother nature!

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